Defense Management:

Impediments Jeopardize Logistics Corporate Information Management

NSIAD-95-28: Published: Oct 21, 1994. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) implementation of its Corporate Information Management (CIM) initiative, focusing on: (1) DOD progress in improving the logistics functions and depot maintenance under the initiative; and (2) impediments to further progress in achieving CIM goals.

GAO found that: (1) CIM has had little effect on improving DOD materiel management and depot maintenance business practices; (2) DOD reengineering efforts have been delayed because the Joint Logistics Systems Center (JLSC) has been focusing on selecting standard logistics information systems that it believes are necessary in the reengineering process; (3) DOD believes that improving migration systems will generate quick cost savings that are needed to offset budget reductions; (4) the mandated 3-year milestone for implementing the migration systems may not allow enough time to ensure that the systems meet the services' and the Defense Logistics Agency's operational requirements; (5) JLSC has selected some migration systems, begun preliminary work on improving business processes, and reduced budget requests for redundant migration systems development projects; (6) impediments to CIM implementation include the reluctance of some DOD managers to accept CIM, DOD failure to integrate its CIM efforts, and confusing DOD guidance on CIM management authority; and (7) DOD has developed a strategic plan for improving business operations and clarifying authority over systems development, and a mechanism to handle cross-functional issues.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: To overcome the fundamental weaknesses in the management of the CIM initiative and to further encourage cultural changes needed to support new DOD business operations, the Secretary of Defense should revise the CIM management strategy to ensure that functional managers, particularly the service Chiefs of Staff and the Director, Defense Logistics Agency, actively participate and lead efforts to reengineer DOD business processes under the CIM initiative.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: To overcome the fundamental weaknesses in the management of the CIM initiative and to further encourage cultural changes needed to support new DOD business operations, the Secretary of Defense should train DOD employees (at all levels) to promote understanding and acceptance of changes needed to their current ways of doing business.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: To overcome the fundamental weaknesses in the management of the CIM initiative and to further encourage cultural changes needed to support new DOD business operations, the Secretary of Defense should change the name of the CIM initiative to lessen the confusion created as the initiative has evolved and to more accurately communicate the primary CIM objective.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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